Thursday, November 20, 2014

TBT: Student Living

I'll state the obvious, I love documenting our living spaces.  That's why I started this blog,  I've only been at it a few months and already I enjoy looking "back" at how the house has changed.  I've always been this way, so today I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at our first apartment (we lived in two) in Cambridge, MA.  All of these will be iPhone photos, iPhone 4 photos to be exact.  Brace yourself.

Actually, before we go inside, let's take a look at Shep's first trip to Harvard Yard.  Notice the camera- wielding tourist behind me.  From the look on his face he doesn't think the John Harvard statue is a place for iPhone pics with dogs.  No.  It should be treated with more reverence than that.  Guess he's never seen The Social Network.

Now we'll get started on the tour, this was a townhouse style apartment built in the 1920's and owned by Harvard University Housing, the best landlords ever.  I often find myself wishing I could pick up the phone and call them.  It was two levels with a basement, about 750 square feet. 

Front door, coat closet, living room. 

Other side of the living room looking into the kitchen.  

We even had a little fireplace.  

Shep was quite the taskmaster during Matt's first semester.

Tiny kitchen!  Notice the mini oven/cooktop.  

Despite this kitchen being so tiny and without a dishwasher, this is actually where I started to really learn to cook.  After we got married we continued living in our college town of Fayetteville, AR where we ate out most of the time.  I didn't really know how to cook and the cost of living was low enough it wasn't too expensive to eat out a lot. 

Boston changed all that, an expensive city coupled with tuition meant that we needed to eat in more and eating out became more for social occasions, which admittedly, still happened frequently.  Before Boston the best I could do was spaghetti with sauce out of a jar and frozen garlic bread.  Now I can't imagine not having cooking in my life and we eat in 4-5 nights a week.  It makes our house feel homey. 

Shep looking for blueberry muffin remains in her snowflake pjs.

Stairwell/wedding gallery wall.

Bedroom, we could see the Charles River from those windows. 

Necessary pic of a sleeping dog in case you're still unclear on if we have a dog.

Looking out of the bedroom into the hall/bathroom/linen closet.

I thought the gray and white checked floor in the bathroom was cute.

Second bedroom, it was sooo small.  We used it as a place for Matt to study.

The front covered in snow.

The view from our bedroom windows, you can see the Charles looks kind of yellow when it's frozen over.  

Shep took to the Boston weather nicely. 

My littlest sister, Avery, who was 10 at the time flew up from Dallas all by herself to stay with us.  

She lined up all the DP cans she and Matt had consumed during her stay.  

She's 12 now and already looks so much older than she does in this pic.  

We even got to sit in on one of Matt's classes where it was decided she'll be HBS Class of 2030.

Cambridge is a special place and we made lifelong friends who are now scattered around the world.  I'm so thrilled we got to spend two years there, I have a feeling the HBS years will be some of our favorites. 

More New England photos here 

Tour our second student apartment here

Monday, November 10, 2014

You May Enter

The entryway is finally starting to look welcoming.  Even though this entry chamber was one of my favorite little details of the house when we looked at it, this space has sat empty since we moved in.  I didn't have anything to put in it and because we use the side door 99% of the time it wasn't high on my priority list.  It was, however, a terrible first impression on guests.

A few weekends ago we went to stay at my in-laws house for Matt's 10 year reunion.  While we were there I decided to go rummaging around the attic, which turned out to be a smashing success.  Thanks to that little treasure hunt the chamber is ready for its close-up. 

But first, a picture of Shep sleeping (and a peek of what I found).

Come on in...

This English Gate-Leg table was my biggest find, it is so gorgeous.  It's more traditional than I usually go for, but I wasn't about to pass it up.  

I came across this mirror and at first I kinda gave it the side-eye.  I wasn't sure if it would work, but I liked it enough to bring it home.  Soon after it came home I noticed the same mirror on two different design sites.  I searched for it on Pinterest and apparently it's a thing, Antique Gold Eagle Federal Mirror.  As is human nature, I immediately liked it more once I discovered this and decided we would hang it.  

These gold framed botanical prints also came from the attic, I just barely hung them off the table centered with the tip of the mirror.   

On the table I put a tray for mail (Target), an Anthropologie candle (you know the one), and a dish for guests to stash keys.  

I'm so happy to have a drop zone for mail.  The mail slot is right by the front door and mail would usually accumulate at one end of the dining room table.  The problem is, visual clutter makes me feel twitchy inside.  

As a result I'd usually just end up throwing everything out or greeting Matt at the door with an insane enthusiasm for mail "Hi. Wow! Don't you want to look through your pile of mail immediately? Another credit card offer!" He'd usually breeze past the pile mumbling something about his fantasy line-up.  Not that I can blame him.  Now he can go through it when he gets a chance and I can drop the ruse that I'm junk mail's biggest fan.  

Moving to the other wall, more botanical prints and those little animal heads (West Elm) are actually hooks.  They're iron so they should be nice and sturdy even though the horns look delicate. 

I also added a copper boot tray (Smith & Hawken line at Target), it serves two purposes: one to actually hold shoes, but also to keep the door from bumping into the wall since there isn't a door stop.  

Those rain boots aren't a completely gratuitous prop, it actually had been rainy in OKC the day I took these photos.  In other news, the hot pink Hunter rain boots are a completely gratuitous prop. 

I love the school house style fixture that hangs in the entry. 

And with that, I think I can declare a finished space in the house.  Never mind that it's 5ft x 4ft, so smaller than a lot of people's closets.  But still, feels like a win.  

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